Okay, so you’ve gone through those guides on setting up your new weblog, and followed all the advice on using social media to leverage your site into becoming über-successful overnight. The problem now is that those two elements are still detached. You’re posting all that relevant content on your website but nobody is around to click those links that direct to all that beautiful material.
This is not an article on improving your follower count or the “top 10 ways to drive traffic with SEO“, but it will definitely help in a different way. Today, I’ll show you how to automatically post your blog articles straight to your Twitter and Facebook accounts using your RSS feed as a stream.
The service I use for this is called TwitterFeed, which you’ll need an account for. It’s all super easy and I’ll explain it after the jump. So anyway, here we go.
If you like, you can sign up to their service with the usual form by clicking “sign up” at the top of the page. If you’re already signed in to Google, Blogger, WordPress.com, or OpenID though it’s as simple as clicking the picture you like the look of.
Find the “Sign In with OpenID” at the bottom of the homepage near the big “Login” button if you’re doing it this way. The box below will show up (with some other options for accounts) and run some fancy AJAX.
Once that’s done your dashboard will show up with a page like this.
Feed Name: If you’re only using one blog this won’t matter as it’s only to tell the difference between the feeds you’re using within your own account. Others won’t see this.
RSS Feed URL: For example, http://blog.stevedecoded.com/feed. This will be different for your own setup.
If you use a WordPress.com blog, the URL will be
Or if you use Blogger
Make sure to use the feed testing button before you continue.
Active: Keep this ticked for now, but it’s a switch that allows you to stop the service reading it later on.
Update Frequency: Even if you don’t post 5 times every 30 minutes, it’s probably best you set it to this, at least the half-hour part. It means that your posts will be sent to your social networks within half an hour of them being posted, keeping your friends and followers up to date.
Post Content: I chose to just post the title, but it’s up to you. Description adds in an excerpt from the beginning of your article.
Post Link: Something you definitely want to set up. Any service will do, but with bit.ly you can generate analytics on the click-throughs and track its retweets. Great tool. You can use your username and API key here from your bit.ly account.
Post Sorting: “pubDate” puts your latest posts first and “guid” sorts them alphabetically. You want to use pubDate for this.
Post Suffix and Prefix: Statements to add to the start and end of your tweets and shares. Makes it easier for your readers to tell the difference between your blog posts and other links.
Keyword Filter: Haven’t needed to exclude any posts from being sent so never used this. From what I understand you put pre-defined keywords into your posts to allow them to be sent by TwitterFeed. Handy if you have multiple types of content being fed into one RSS feed.
When you’re done you can click the “Continue to Step 2” button.
On the next page you can choose the accounts that you want to allow access to. In this example I’ll use Twitter, but others are just as simple.
Using their OAuth service, connecting to Twitter is as simple as clicking the blue button above, which prompts this screen.
If a login screen comes up, you can enter your details from there. Otherwise, clicking on the green “Allow” button will synchronise both accounts for you, taking you back to the previous menu.
If you’re using Twitter for driving a Google Analytics campaign, you can type some info in the UTM tags to track it. Otherwise you can skip it and click “Create Service”.
So there you go, everything’s set. Now you can sit back and watch those viewers flock to your site, now with no effort on your part!*
*Well you’ve still to write that content, mind